With the stress of planning a wedding, the last thing you want to do is pile on more. But generally speaking if you are planning a destination or beach wedding you will have to deal with travel, not only for yourself but possibly your guests. So, how can you make arrangements and keep stress levels low? Here are some tips for planning a perfect beach wedding and keeping your sanity.
Remember, you are not responsible for the travel plans for guests, but it's a good idea get gather all the information yourself and spread the word to everyone. You are responsible for hotel accomodations for your wedding party but not their flights. If your wedding will be small, you might want to take on the responsibility of coordinating everything related to travel (or delegate it to someone). Most, if not all, your research can be done online and most things can be booked online. Or doing all the research but letting a good travel agent work the remaining details is a good idea as well. They have a better opportunity to shop around for flight and hotel packages and discounts for you using their inhouse tools. We recommend you narrow down to the time of year you want to get married and a couple of different hotels and let a travel agent do the rest.
There are a couple of things to consider when travel planning. During high tourist seasons, prices are at their peak. If you can go during the less traveled times of the year, you will pay less. You can often find times of the year, though, that are less busy but just as beautiful as far as weather and accommodations. An added bonus is that there will be less congestion in the area and fewer people on the beaches. Secondly, you may think that buying a destination wedding package is far more expensive than taking care of every aspect yourself. Often, though, you can book an excellent package that includes travel, accommodations, and more for less than you would spend booking them separately. This is especially true for an All-Inclusive. And you also get the benefit of a hotel with destination wedding experience. Most All-Inclusive hotels and very good and providing weddings.
Tour Operators that have All-Inclusive packages year around to most major hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico are FunJet, Apple Vacations & Cheap Carribean. You can also find All-Inclusive packages with Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity. But they are less likely to have the same hotel packages year round. But they are good options for comparisons.
A great way to read reviews for your hotel or location choices is at Trip Advisdor. My advice is to read through the negative reviews in detail to see if I can 'live with' the things they don't like.
To see what the US Government had to say about travel in different locations regarding health and safety, see: CDC.gov
We generally believe it's a good idea to insure your trip. Tour Operators usually offer insurance and most of the time you can cancel up to one day before for any reason. I've done this before and was very glad I was able to only lose the cost of the insurance. If you book your trip in another way but would still like to take advantage of insurance, go to: Insure My Trip or Quote Wright.
To insure not only your trip, but your wedding, read our wedding insurance information and resources article.